Monday, October 30, 2017

Introducing Myself to My 18 Year Old Grandson -

Scott and I have a tenuous relationship with one of our six children. Because of this, we have little to no interaction with five grandchildren. This letter is to the oldest of our grandchildren, but really, it's to all of his siblings as well.

Dear Grandson,

You know, Grandson, I know little about you. And I'm sorry about that - I don't know you, and you don't know me. But I'm trying to mend this, so by way of introduction -

I was born in the small town of Rigby, Idaho. My parents were well-established, even as a young couple, in the community - my father owning restaurants, both of them active with church and community efforts, and, before they knew it - active with 7 children! I was 15 when my youngest brother was born. That's a handful! I grew up with both sets of grandparents nearby, and I had wonderful friendships with all of them. I can't imagine my life without my grandparents - one set was active LDS, lived on a farm outside of town, the other set were active in the community, living in a small apartment in town; both sets loving their families, doing anything, sacrificing often, for their children and grandchildren. I loved the time I spent with them all. And I loved being seen with them - I was so amazed at how well respected they were, and at how many people knew them and wanted to visit with them.

My parents are such amazing people. While my dad was busy growing his businesses, my mother kept us kids involved in piano and dance lessons, soccer and other sports, baked for neighbors and people in our congregation. They were so busy with church and community - serving in leadership positions in all areas of their lives, but they always found time to serve - and involved us kids in that service.

Three of my fondest young memories with my parents -  visiting the widows in our neighborhoods on Saturdays, with my mother, while she washed, curled, and fixed the hair of several of these women, so they would look nice, and feel nice, on Sunday. Another - going to work with my father - and I'm sure this was not a treat for him, and peeling big bags of carrots, wiping off tables, organizing papers and menus and the candy shelf by the cash register. The third, water-skiing! We had a boat, and on a Saturday, when my dad had a minute to get away from the restaurants, he'd gather some of the boys in the ward, us kids, and take us out of town to a small area of the Snake River (we called it the Boat Dock, which is now a park, named in honor of my grandfather) where we'd ski in the cold water, battling mosquitoes and loving every minute of the warm summer sun.

My memories of my parents are golden. My father was always so good to my mother. I remember one time my brother sassing my mother, and my dad saying, "Don't you treat my wife that way." This has stayed with me. My parents taught us how to treat others by showing us how they treated each other and those around them.

I do remember my mother losing her temper, only once, and I remember it as if this happened yesterday. We were in our house in Rigby. She had 2 little ones in high chairs (13 months apart in age), and the other 4 of us all hungry, wanting lunch, right now. She was making bologna sandwiches on white bread. She was spreading mustard and ketchup on the bread, the kids were fighting and noisy, and she yelled, "Damnit, I have had enough," and threw the piece of bread with ketchup in the air, where it hit the ceiling and came back down. The ketchup stain and story remain, and we quickly quieted down!

I'm sure my parents both were a little hot-headed at times, even with each other, but I never saw this. NEVER! Pretty good. I knew my parents loved each other, loved us kids, and just like my grandparents, would do anything for us and for their community.

I'm grateful for this foundation - it is the pavement I walk on every single day. Love you - Gma

Here I am with my mother's parents, Vernal and Geneve Jensen, Tyler, who turns 37 on Wednesday, and my parents. 

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